Political chaos (or business as usual)


When the presidential election campaign was rolling along a few years ago, I had a very strange thought. To give it kind of a progression appearance, it basically went like this…

(1) I can’t stand most politicians. They are—seemingly a majority of them in every potential negative topic of consideration, from the ones I’m about to make to any other critiques—out of touch, motivated and influenced primarily by personal interests, and, frankly, idiots.

(2) Donald Trump winning will… for better and for worse… create chaos.

(3) Maybe, just maybe, if he is elected, the return to normalcy following his stay in office will involve a grand national political awakening where it is truly a new normal, a better normal, and not the finger-pointing, no progress, dig in the heels and cry really loud old normal.

And, guess what?


(Yes. Crickets.)

For the most part, unless you’re someone that reads every word in every political news report every day (while talk radio or specific news channels play in the background), the reality is that Washington has for the most part gone silent.

While every media outlet should be punished for the amazing overuse of the word “historic” in the past week (learn some different words folks)… while the highest representatives of some of our country’s closest allies stare dumbfounded at meetings… you would have to search and search (and search) to see any Democrat or Republican national-office-holder talking about what’s been going on.

Now… look… I am saying this in my typical naïve approach to the world. You absolutely could find this governor saying something and that senator saying something. The quotes and opinions are out there. But… the last time I recall seeing a massive wave of comments from politicians without having to deliberately look for them? Well…

It was when funeral plans were being discussed for Senator John McCain. Word was being shared across several news platforms that McCain didn’t want Trump at any services. And some politicians criticized McCain’s wishes. And some politicians offered sympathy and understanding for McCain’s wishes. And almost all offered some note of understanding that it was an amazingly difficult and sad subject to discuss. Still…

Discussion about John McCain, his health, and what might happen after his passing?

LOTS of reports and quotes.

Name calling directed at Canada and a meeting with North Korea?

Crickets. Political crickets.

And before you start offering links and quotes and e-mails and phone calls and text messages and more for me to examine… pause for just a moment and consider… here’s my point…

I really, truly feel as though every career politician in the country (senators, representatives, governors and more (and those with intentions to seek such offices)) has gone silent. They’ve boarded up the windows, stocked the shelter, and settled in waiting for the storm to pass.

More staff leaving the White House team (somehow raising a pace of turnover that had already been at levels never before approached)? It’s ok. Two more years… maybe six more years… it will be over (pass the can opener).

Foreign interests asking questions and rolling eyes? It’s ok. We can apologize during the next administration.

And, sure, it’s not all bad. The WiFi in their safe rooms allows for politicians to check their 401k portfolios. Squirrels—incompetent and competent squirrels—are finding acorns.

The trick for me in all of this… the scary part for me in all of this… is that it truly seems like Washington has gone into run-silent-run-deep mode. Take credit for the good. Make no comment and run away from the bad. Do whatever is necessary to be standing at the other side.

And why is that so scary? Because it tends to lend itself toward the finger-pointing, no progress, dig in the heels and cry really loud old normal. It really sees like no one heard the beating drums and rallying cries that swirled and crested in the last presidential election as some type of sign for reform, change, modification or such. It seems like we are going to see a parade of the same old candidates. Not toward a new Washington. Not toward a better Washington.

There’s still some time. You can begin to do some research instead of casually coming across the news here and there. You can make phone calls and send e-mails when votes and actions and issues need attention and you want your voice heard. You can check out how situations are handled in your voting districts. (And please please please do.)

But the running joke—a joke that hurts because it’s true—is that those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

The true joy of the chaos was that it might bring change and improvement. As of today though, I’m thinking that when the political groundhogs emerge from their sanctuaries they might not see their shadows. And if they’re not scared… well…

Buckle up. The chaos might just continue.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com